In this article I’m going to give my top 3 of the best silicone bicycle grips.
For my Cannondale Super V I’m looking for a new set of grips. The bike is from 1994 and has a mere 60mm of front travel.
Combine this with traditional small 26″ wheels and the fact that the bike is a size too small, so I’m leaning on the handlebars a bit more, and it means I’m dealing with a lot of arm pump and hand numbness.
Based on my research into the best bicycle gloves for hand numbness I bought the Castelli Arenberg Gel 2 gloves. But since I started using the Super V significantly this season I’m looking to up the ante in comfort.
Why silicone bicycle grips?
Before we dive into the list it’s interesting to learn why you’d choose silicone bicycle grips in the first place.
A high-quality grip ensures you have maximum control over the handlebars in any condition, a certain level of durability in case of crashes, and vibration damping to prevent or reduce hand numbness and arm pump.
Silicone sits between traditional hard rubber grips and very soft foam grips. So it combines both attributes of control and vibration damping into the material.
The material, although a bit more difficult to get onto the handlebars, will never slip once put into place.
I already bought a pair of ESI Racer’s Edge because the material could be easily cut to sit beside the Sachs Grip Shifters. In general you don’t cut a pair of rubber grips, which makes the silicone grips the ideal companion with grip shifters.
ESI Grips as the name suggests, solely focuses on silicone grips and bar tape. Gary Stewart, its founder, experienced the classic symptoms of discomfort in his hands himself, and decided to do something about it with his experience in aerospace engineering.
ESI has developed a number of silicone bicycle grips in various sizes, shapes and lengths. The most well-known are the ESI Racer’s Edge, ESI Chunky, ESI Extra Chunky, and ESI Plush grips, with an installed diameter of 30mm., 32mm., 34mm., and 35mm. respectively.
ESI offers a wide variety of colors to choose from besides the standard black.
The ESI grips start at $16.99 for the Racer’s Edge up to $32.99 for the Fit versions. They’ll be more expensive in European countries.
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ESI Racer’s Edge
ESI Extra Chunky
ESI Fit CR
32mm. – 30mm.
ESI Fit XC
34mm. – 32mm.
ESI Fit SG
Wolf Tooth grips
Next up and often cited are the Wolf Tooth silicone bicycle grips. Very similar to ESI they offer a standard version in four diameters.
Wolf tooth offers the Karv and Fat Paw size also in a Cam version. This reduces the circumference while maintaining the thickest padding in the area that’ll receive the most force.
Whereas the cam versions only have an extra red version, the standard grips come in a variety of colors to suit your style.
The Wolf Tooth grips are more expensive than the ESI grips across the board and retail between €21 for the Razers up to €37 for the Mega Fat Paws.
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Wolf Tooth Razer
Wolf Tooth Karv
Wolf Tooth Fat Paw
Wolf Tooth Mega Fat Paw
absoluteBLACK Premium Silicone Dual Density Enduro grips
The grips with the longest name I’ve ever seen. Known for their oval chainrings and otherworldly looking derailleur, absoluteBlack also offer the Premium Silicone Dual Density Enduro Grips.
They are certainly the best-looking of the bunch and the rest of the market if you ask me. With both the grooves and the aluminum bar ends making for a very distinctive design.
The grooves are meant to increase friction and thus add to the control you have over your handlebars when the going gets tough.
Besides black absoluteBLACK offers three other colors.
They only offer a 33mm. version, which weighs 70 grams. So it’s clear both ESI and Wolf Tooth offer more options for people with bigger hands.
Silicone bicycle grips are known to wear out much faster than their rubber counterparts. absoluteBLACK states that because of their grip’s increased weight and silicone density they will outlast the competition.
I can’t say anything about the compound but as far as weight is concerned they don’t beat a number of options from both ESI and Wolf Tooth.
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